Modulus and the Buzzard Bass
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A few years after John Entwistle's initial collaboration with Warwick Basses to design the original Buzzard bass, John further progressed the design of the guitar by implementing graphite to the neck to give the neck the stability that he was looking for. With the help of Modulus Guitars assisting John, Modulus provided John with bolt-on graphite necks for the Warwick Buzzard wooden body. It has been said, by once source, that Modulus provided Warwick their graphite necks for 6 Warwick basses of John's personal collection. It has been said by various sources that Modulus made 10 productions of their version of the Buzzard, with the Warwick body and graphite neck, and then stopped. The reason why they only produced 10 of them is not completely clear to me at the moment. It is however a fact that John paid full price to Modulus for 2 of these Warwick/Modulus Buzzards for his personal collection.
Now for a rather incredible story!
Back in September of 2007, I received an e-mail from a very jubilent Les Chambers, as he detailed the story about finding a very rare Warwick/Modulus bass - IN A PAWN SHOP!!! I'll let Les tell the story himself.
Chambers - "A friend of mine gave me a call back in, oh, about
April of 2002. He told me to check out this Buzzard for sale
on eBay. Well, sure enough, it was the real deal. So I called
the seller, he's from Oxnard, CA. He tells me he found this Buzzard
in a pawn shop! And right away, puts it on eBay. Of course,
I'm skeptical. So I call Modulus. Sure enough, they tell me
"Yes, it's one of ours." Trouble is, the company is second owners.
These people bought Modulus from the original owner and apparently he kept
bad records and they had a fire that destroyed a lot of the records.
So they couldn't tell me when it was produced. But they did tell me
that very few were produced for the public.
Well, I started bidding, and I was the only person that bid on it. I want to say that it cost me $2,145.00. I mailed my brother the money, he lives in L.A., about 1/2 hour from Oxnard. I tell my brother, who knows all about guitars, to check it out, if it's on the level, to give him the money and mail me the Buzzard."
Les' bass is actually the first of it's kind. Another Entwistle and Buzzard enthusiast, Freddie Lamour owns the second one, and John took the third one on tour with him for the Ringo Starr All Star tour back in the 1990's.
So, the rest, as they say,
Sorry, folks. Les says that if he ever gets tired of owning this bass, that I'm next in line to buy it from him. :)
Click on a thumbnail for the full sized image. If you have questions about this bass, or you want to contact Les about it, you can e-mail me.
HERE and HERE is another version of the Modulus Buzzard. The current owner of this Buzzard, appearing in both pictures, says that this particular bass does not have a serial number and it is autographed by John himself.